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Dubai — A Place of Wonderment!

Published: 11th September 2014 06:08 AM  |   Last Updated: 11th September 2014 06:08 AM   |  A+A-

Palm-Jumeirah

A little fishing village in the Middle East that now makes headlines is the sparkling city of Dubai. This extremely rich Emirate has something for everyone. It holds itself with such stature and regality that a substitute is hard to find.

Even though Dubai is a sweltering desert, there is hardly anything that you will not find here. The Emirate believes in importing the best of the best from around the globe. This includes food, technology, minds and cars!

Burj-Khalifa.jpgAs soon as you land in the Dubai airport, which is very well connected to the rest of the world, you are immediately pulled into the land that is known for its grandeur of architecture. From the tallest building in the world, Burj Khalifa; the tree shaped artificial island, Palm Jumeirah; and the majestic Burj Al Arab, Dubai packs a punch in the skyline department.

Dubai has made a name for itself as a cosmopolitan metropolis. The huge hotels are some of the world’s most expensive ones. The city, though established on money made by selling oil, is so vast in the Middle East that it now generates revenue from tourism, real estate, aviation and financial services. Since it is a coastal city, it is approachable and trade has always been easy for the sheikhs.

Wonderment!.JPGDubai was rated as one of the best places to live in the Middle East by an American global consulting firm Mercer. But it is also one of the most expensive cities in the world to live in. Dubai is a westernised economy and is frequented by celebrities and businessmen from all over the world. Keeping up with the crowd, restaurants have popped up everywhere, from posh five stars to the not-so -posh Al Dhiyafah Road that has affordable but authentic cuisine for people who are challenged budget-wise.

If shopping is more to your taste, the world’s largest mall is right here — the Dubai Mall. The malls are not only for shopping. Most of them have a wide variety of in-built entertainment hubs, like an Artificial ski resort, a walk-through aquarium, musical fountains, waterways and whatever else you can think of. If you want to take in the atmosphere of the Persians, you could visit one of the Souks, which are traditional markets that sell lamps, lanterns, perfumed oils all in an old-fashioned environment. These are good spots for bargaining.

Talking of good bargains, you should visit Dubai during the Shopping Festival. This is organised annually in the first quarter of the year, which is the best time to visit Dubai as the weather is optimum.

Travel.jpgA trip along the creek that divides Dubai into two halves — Bur Dubai and Deira, can be an enlightening tour of the old Dubai. If it is culture and history you seek from your trip, do plan a visit to the Heritage Village. This spot is where time stops and you can get a glimpse of what it was like living in Dubai before it became a glittering metropolis. Dubai hosts many concerts and has its annual film festival that brings a lot of cinematic art into the city.

Though Dubai looks and feels like a dream, it has strict laws and rules that it does not bend for anyone, including tourists. It is a good idea to familiarise yourself with the laws before you land. A few laws pertaining to tourists are that Dubai has beaches that you can sunbathe on in a bikini or a swimsuit, but once you are off the beach, wearing a swimsuit in public is illegal. Consuming alcohol outside registered spots can make you an outlaw and so can eating or drinking anything in public during the month of Ramadan.

One of the main attractions in Dubai though is the actual glitter of gold. The coveted metal can be bought very cheap and you can haggle with the vendors in the Gold Souk. No matter how low they go in price, you can rest assured that the gold will be real.

If you like adventures, you could take a trip to the desert. There are many desert safaris in which a jeep takes you over the dunes and to a spot in the middle of the sand where there is barbecue and a belly dancing performance. You can even enjoy a bumpy camel ride if you want!

So if you are in Dubai for a day or a week, there is no shortage of things to keep you thoroughly occupied!



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